A Silent Word

“The Lord your God is in the midst of you…in His love He will be silent….” (Zephaniah 3:17, Amplified Bible)

Sometimes we over estimate the value of words. We may offer a word of praise or consolation hoping to encourage someone, or withhold a word of loving criticism to spare one’s feeling. Words have so much power; Scripture tells us all creation was established by the word of God (Genesis 1), Jesus is the Word (John 1:1 and 1:14), “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” – our words (Proverbs 18:21). Words can carry great weight.

But as powerful as words are, sometimes a silent touch speaks louder.

A number of years go my husband and I went through a difficult and humiliating experience. Without our knowledge – and certainly without our consent – one of our children made a life-changing choice, a choice I found deeply embarrassing. In church for a special holiday service, I sat alone, one seat in from the aisle, leaving the outside seat vacant for my husband. Feeling humiliated beyond words I sat, eyes mostly looking downward, painfully aware that while some knew our situation many others did not – but soon would.

Seeing me seated alone, a friend who knew the circumstances sat down beside me. Without a word she placed her arm around my shoulder and silently rubbed my back. I looked over to see eyes filled with companion and lovingkindness. She gave a side-ways hug before leaving to take her seat. There were no words she could share; she had never walked our path. But in silence, her loving touch spoke loudly, blessing me immensely.

I love to encourage people; I love words. But I have learned that silence, especially when accompanied by tender, compassionate touch, can speak even louder than words.

Thank You Jesus, for sharing Your loving touch.

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